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Reflections - Roman Pool #2 of 2

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 6 December 2012 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

The Roman Pool at Hearst castle is a tiled indoor pool decorated with eight statues of Roman gods, goddesses and heroes. The pool appears to be styled after an ancient Roman bath such as the Baths of Caracalla in Rome c. 211-17 CE. The mosaic tiled patterns were inspired by mosaics found in the 5th Century Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy. They are also representative of traditional marine monster themes that can be found in ancient Roman baths. The statues are rough copies of ancient Greek and Roman statues. One such copy represents the “Apoxyomenos.” Statuary was used on a considerable scale in the Baths of Caracalla.

The pool and surrounding room, which were built from 1927-1934, can be compared to an ancient Roman bath. The pool, like the baths, is located indoors. Its water was heated as in a tepidarium. However, in Hearst’s complex there were no hot or cold baths as there were in the ancient complex. The Roman Pool complex was designed to contain an exercise room, sweat baths, a handball court and dressing rooms.

The Roman Pool is decorated from ceiling to floor with 1″ square mosaic tiles. These glass tiles, called smalti, are either colored (mainly blue or orange) or are clear with fused gold inside. The intense colors and shimmering gold of the tiles combine to create a breathtaking effect. The designs created by the tiles were developed by muralist Camille Solon. The inspiration for some of these designs came from the 5th Century Mausoleum of Galla Placidia.

Hearst was affected by the beauty of the mosaics in the mausoleum and incorporated similar styles into his Roman Pool. The walls of the mausoleum are marble but the vaulted arches are composed of blue and gold smalti. The roofs and dome are covered with mosaics of night blue, powdered with stars. The Roman Pool is similar to the mausoleum with its blue and gold color scheme and stylized star patterns. It differs because marble was only used in the statues, not on the walls, and there are no religious murals.

Decorating the Roman Pool are eight marble statues. These statues were carved starting in 1930 by Carlo Freter working in Pietrasanta, Italy. They are rough copies of ancient Greek and Roman statues. The statue of “Apoxyomenos” is found near the east side of the building. “Apoxyomenos,” also known as “The Scraper,” is a statue of an athlete scraping dirt and moisture off the underside of his right arm. The original bronze statue was created by the Greek sculptor Lysippos c. 320 B.C.E. Because Lysippos’ work does not survive, Freter worked from an ancient Roman copy of “The Scraper” found in the Vatican museum in Rome. Freter faithfully copied the Roman copy but also completes the statue with the addition of the missing strigil (scraper) and the missing fingers of the outstretched hand.

Photo captured August 17, 2012.

NIKON D7000 1/80 second F/4.5 ISO 400 27 mm (35mm equiv.)

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Spotlight Images

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States


6 Dec 2012 5:43am

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

Splendid image

6 Dec 2012 6:52am

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

Really is a stunning place

6 Dec 2012 7:14am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Simply marvellous!

6 Dec 2012 8:04am

daniel Gutiez from Montvalent, France

awesome a prefect compo

6 Dec 2012 8:40am

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Toronto, Canada

Beautiful and far beyond that !~

6 Dec 2012 8:46am

Mariana Maoduš from Waterloo, Canada

STUNNING beauty in this place !

6 Dec 2012 10:01am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

An exquisite image - the perfect reflection gives a timeless beauty.

6 Dec 2012 10:16am

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

So beautiful !! A superb composition of this pool .

6 Dec 2012 11:56am

Akbar&Armaghan from Gorgan, Iran

very nice photo

6 Dec 2012 12:04pm

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Again, what a fascinating place . . the acoustics must be interesting.

6 Dec 2012 12:09pm

tataray from france, France

Belle image ici aussi. Quels reflets puissants.)

6 Dec 2012 1:25pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

I would love to have a swim in that beautiful pool. Awesome reflections.

6 Dec 2012 2:18pm

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Love this..

6 Dec 2012 2:40pm

mohammad from shiraz, Iran

it place has a sweet calm
i like it

6 Dec 2012 4:05pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

very nice & amazing!
so so beautiful colors, lights & reflections!

6 Dec 2012 5:07pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Another stunning view; so peaceful!

6 Dec 2012 5:07pm

Heinz from Hamm, Germany

Perfekte Aufnahme.

6 Dec 2012 5:42pm

Basile Pesso from Paris, France

Yes, fascinating reflections in a perfect framing within which the persons seem to bother :)

6 Dec 2012 7:08pm

Carol from Leamington, Canada

That's amazing Steven.... it really is an eye-opener with those reflections and the beauty of it all. Wow, an impressive photo!

6 Dec 2012 7:33pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

ANother fantastic image. The color and reflection are stunning.

6 Dec 2012 8:08pm

Visualaccent from somewhere in the, United States

Fantastic, I like this one better than one presented before.

6 Dec 2012 9:48pm

|\Mohammad/| from Tehran, Iran

Beautiful combination of blue and yellow colors. Nice rhythms.

6 Dec 2012 10:24pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Absolutely beautiful! They knew how to choose colors!

7 Dec 2012 12:42am

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

The corner perspective makes the reflections even more striking.

7 Dec 2012 10:05pm

Abena from Illinois, United States

beautiful reflections! I like! Thanks for sharing that and the short history below. I find it all so interesting. Done with marble and gold!...I really do see the great nature of this. It looks very classy.

8 Dec 2012 3:53am